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OI shares school and career experience

From 1947 to 1954, John Graham was a prominent member of the Ipswich School community – he was a member of the rugby first team, and he organised matches for the team. Later he became the president of the Old Ipswichian Club.

We interviewed him about his time here and his later career, and he painted an entirely different environment to what we experience now. For one thing, there were no girls at the school, for another, there was a more relaxed attitude to skipping lessons. He told us a funny story about the time when his Latin teacher told him to skip Latin, to train for a rugby match.

He told us that while at school, all he wanted to do was become a shared tenant with his father on their farm, and he did not go to university as it was not common for students to do so at that time. Soon after he left school he was called up into national service and he served in the army for three years. However, the landlord of his father’s farm rejected his plan to become a tenant, which forced him to look for other
jobs related to agriculture. He then became an agricultural contractor and his career was aided by many other Old Ipswichians. As we listened, we realised that much of the advice that he had got from his elders still resonated with the children of today.

We were able to ask questions about his career and he gave us a lot of immensely useful advice. Overall it was a very eye-opening talk and we were given a lot of insight into what we can achieve, as well as showing us that even if it seems like you have nowhere to go, you should never give up. And most importantly, he said that everyone should have a Plan B in terms of careers in case you are not able to do
what you dream of doing.

Souparno L and Luke McG, Year 10

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